My Peace Corps service officially ended on September 17, 2013.
Up until the last day at site, if anyone asked me if I was ready to go home the answer was "Hell Yes!" Thoughts of my family and friends, buffalo wings smothered in hot sauce, juicy hamburgers grilled to perfection, and cheese that didn't taste like erasers were increasingly taking over my brain. Sometimes I would snap out of these thoughts to find myself staring into space with drool creeping down my chin. But don't get me wrong. I was continuing to enjoy my last days at site and kept busy until the last minute. And as it turned out, leaving the Philippines was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.
|Alumni reuniting at my going away party in La Trinidad.|
|One of the completed murals.|
|Getting ready to sing.|
|Playing the gongs! For the final time....|
|Raffling off my stuff|
After the party, the teachers and some of the older students followed me back for dinner at my host family's house. It was a difficult night, saying goodbye for the final time and realizing the impact I had on the students, and the impact they had on me. I kept my composure until the following morning when my host family bid me farewell on the bus. I'm sure I made the Filipino sitting next to me very uncomfortable as he was forced to sit by this strange foreigner with tears streaming down his face. It dawned on me that I was leaving family and friends, just as close and important to me as those I have at home in the US.
|Fourth Year 'Pearls'|
The Peace Corps' slogan is "The hardest job you'll ever love." Now that I'm finished, I have to say that I agree completely. The last two years have been a roller coaster of emotions, testing my strength in about every aspect of my life. But the best part of the experience was discovering what I love.
As the Pinoy escapade draws to a close, it makes me both nervous and excited as to what adventure life will lead me to next. This will be my final post. Thank you to everyone who has followed my experience for the last 27 months!
Until the next chapter,
|Fourth year 'Diamond' students|
|The remaining cluster!|